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Close to everything in the Central Valley
Can't think of any
In a nutshell
Great base for exploring the central valley
Nothing noteable here. there is a lovely square in the centre of town and i think it is the only thing worth seeing. I missed being there when the mercado (market) was open. There are couple of supermarkets (pali) south and west (a few blocks) to the centre of town. The people here are more afluent than other cities in the country. You will see that they have pets and the women will have shorter hair styles. I felt fairly safe walking around.
Updated Mar 18, 2005
Luggage and bags: The suitcase with the built-in wheels that fits in the airplane luggage rack is the only way for me... and the rest of my family too! It's difficult to think why anyone would carry more, especially when on vacation. Over the years I have managed to complete the "ready-to-go" suitcase, complete with a spare set of everything packed and just waiting for a month in Asia, a weekend camping or an overnight trip on business.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: When going by air, change into clothing suitable for your destination and leave the useless clothes behind. Then bring a second pair of everything in your suitcase. Shoes (for business) or sneakers for vacation plus sandals for footwear. Extra underwear and socks (except you can wash them easily in the hotel sink and dry in the shower), shorts that you can swim in. Polyester shirt (dries quickly), rolled up sweater,
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Shaving kit - old pair of eye glasses. Most things you can easily purchase on vacation so relax!!
Photo Equipment: Digital camera - maybe an extra memory card and batteries. Burn them to a DVD at an internet cafe if you are afraid of losing your camera.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Towel that rolls up tight and that you do not care if you lose it. Piece of rope with plastic clothes pins for drying clothes indoors or out.
Written Aug 4, 2008
Favorite thing: While we stayed at the 1915 Hotel in Alajuela we brought our laundry to a little shop a few blocks from the hotel. The shopkeeper, being a collector, had a small display of banknotes on his counter.
Fondest memory: As we admired these, we started talking and gave him some notes from Indonesia, Suriname and Trinidad Tobago, that we happened still to have with us. He was so happy with these that he gave us in return a five colones bill of 1990, which he said was “the most beautiful banknote” in the world.
We cannot confirm this, as we have not seen all the banknotes in the world. But this Cinco Colones note certainly is a fine one. One face bears a portrait of Rafael Yglesias Castro, who served as president of Costa Rica from 1894 to 1902, and a pair of Costa Rica's national flowers - the orchid Guaria Morada. The other face shows a print of the famous allegorical mural in the National Theater. This “Allegory of Coffee and Bananas” was painted by the Italian J. Villa (or Aleandro Villa?) and depicts the loading of coffee and bananas in the port of Limón. It is a interesting painting although mr Villa did not quite know his subject, because coffee does not grow at sea level and the man in the centre has an awkward way of carrying a bunch of bananas.
We had not figured out all this at the time, otherwise we would have gone to see the interior of the Theatre, which we now only saw in passing by.
Updated Aug 8, 2012